Last year Americans saw annual Independence Day Celebrations canceled throughout the country. Traditions were broken, and the future was unclear. But 2021 is offering more opportunities for social events.
From San Antonio’s Fireworks Extravaganza to Washington D.C.’s Fireworks on the Mall, American cities are hosting numerous events and festivals to celebrate our country’s independence and freedom. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, is hosting their 4th of July Spectacular with a special performance from The Beach Boys. Ripley, West Virginia, is once more hosting the USA’s largest small-town celebration. This year marks a return to some of the events that were canceled during the pandemic, like the Fair St. Louis.
Fair St. Louis is marking its 40th anniversary, despite having to be held virtually last year. Like many celebrations from coast to coast, this occasion offers live music, special events, and of course, fireworks.
During an interview with The Epoch Times, Chairman David Estes of the fair discussed the excitement surrounding the celebration and some of the changes being made, such as the introduction of an esports tournament. “While we were saddened to cancel the Fair in 2020, we knew it was the best decision for everyone. This year, 2021, is the 40th year of Fair Saint Louis. We had every intention of hosting a traditional Fair Saint Louis under the Arch with health and safety at the forefront of our minds. However, planning for Fair Saint Louis is a year-round effort, and the pandemic severely affected our planning processes, so we made the difficult decision to hold off on a big celebration under the Arch until 2022.”
Despite having to alter the event, Estes expressed his excitement, “Our iconic fireworks show over the St. Louis Riverfront and framed by the Gateway Arch is always a breathtaking spectacle, but this year it will be our largest show ever. Additionally, we are entering the world of esports with the inaugural Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational, the first collegiate in-person esports tournament of 2021.”
He emphasized the draw of adding esports to the fair, “We have been looking to make esports a part of the Fair Saint Louis family for a few years. It is a billion-dollar industry and one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. For Fair Saint Louis, it is a timely and relevant way for us to attract new audiences … a new generation of fairgoers, if you will.
“We know entertainers are as eager as anyone to get back to live performances again,” he said when asked if it was difficult booking performers. “We are ecstatic to provide a stage for local and regional entertainers to perform at the Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational.”
Estes also noted that “Fair Saint Louis is and will always be rooted in music. Free live music is also part of the Gateway Legends weekend—we’ll have performances all weekend long from local and regional bands at Ballpark Village.”
In regards to the importance of hosting this event at the arch each year, he said, “This past year has been difficult for everyone, so we are very happy to host a competitive esports tournament and put on a fantastic fireworks show under one of the most defining symbols of America—the Gateway Arch—and celebrate our country and our people … all the while bringing smiles to a lot of people’s faces.”
“The Fair gives me an opportunity to be involved in a major community event that our region counts on every year. I love the sacrifice and commitment between Fair leadership, staff, volunteers, sponsors, civic leaders, and law enforcement to produce a terrific event that helps make St. Louis a better place to live for all. And a bonus: Some of the best friends I have in the world I met through my Fair association, and for that I am very grateful,” he added.
Estes told us that the fair usually attracts about 300,000 people over the course of three days. The audience is generally a mix of locals and tourists who wish to experience the event on the riverfront under the arch.
As cities resume these types of celebrations, Americans have more options for hometown and travel opportunities than they did last year. Large turnouts are expected.